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Wednesday, 23 March 2016 07:06 AM Write a comment Permalink

(106) Gay New York Assemblyman compares Mixed Martial Arts to 'gay porn' during hearing

O'Donnell was hardly the only dissenter for a bill that will clear the way for UFC and other sanctioning bodies to hold fights in the state, which passed by an unofficial tally of 113-25. State Assemblyman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) likened MMA to the savages of slavery and police brutality, hinting at the case where Eric Garner died after he was placed in a chokehold by police in Staten Island in 2014.

“You know how we feel about the chokehold in New York City,” Barron said. “You can put him in a chokehold and the ref has to be determining whether he got choked enough or she got choked enough. This (sport) is not something we should legalize or regulate.”

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-New York) said MMA stars are part of "dumbing down of America” and she voiced concerns that if the bill became law that children would be more inclined to fight at school.

Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak (C-Cheektowaga) said she was a worried “this bill doesn’t do anything about” policing sex offenders.

Concerns about traumatic brain injury were also cited by a few legislators.

"I would like to think personally we should hold off longer (in approving pro MMA in the state) especially since the brain research has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years," Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) said. "I see this as New York being a holdout, showing, again, that we are leaders. I would like to see us remain leaders and wait for the health research to be more thorough in terms of the long-term impact on these fighters."

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) voiced concerns about domestic violence and drug issues in the sport, which she said was "shockingly high."

The bill's backers included Assemblyman Jose Rivera (D-Bronx).

"You afraid of violence?" Rivera quipped. "You’re lucky you didn’t grow up in the South Bronx like I did.”

He closed off his time by saying he'd vote "yes" on the bill.
Thursday, 17 March 2016 06:02 AM Write a comment Permalink

(105) Author Shares Her Personal Story In Hopes Of Helping Others.
Author releases “Love and Compassion Is My Religion: A Beginner's Book into Spirituality”

One-fifth of Americans are religiously unaffiliated — higher than at any time in recent U.S. history — and those younger than 30 especially seem to be drifting from organized religion to spirituality. A third of young Americans say they don't belong to any religion but are more spiritual. - NPR

Author Jane Zarse not only shares her personal story but informs the readers how, they too, can become more spiritual in their own lives. In ‘Love and Compassion Is My Religion’, Zarse gives readers a heartfelt look at how she finally learned to love herself, climbing back from hitting bottom with the love of God. She fought bulimia and drank to excess after graduating from Boston University, then worked first as an actress and later as a high-volume trader at Chicago's Options Exchange. She lacked compassion for others, but didn’t realize why until much later. The reason? She didn’t love herself.

But everything broke open after Zarse’s mother died of a heart attack and she divorced her husband. At first the downward spiral was steep, but then she found the strength to pick herself up and finally seek help.

Love and Compassion Is My Religion is a guide to finding your spiritual self—no matter how much you've sinned or lost yourself. It's a guide to how to find your way back. Zarse using her own excesses as an example, shows how it can be done.

About the Author

Jane Zarse grew up the child of privilege in Lake Forest, Illinois. She attended a prestigious academy, drove a new Audi to school, and discovered the love of boys. She also discovered alcohol—which quickly became her crutch. Interviews available upon request.

Book Reviews

(Five stars) “Highly Recommended Reviewed Feb 28, 2016
By- Verified Amazon Customer

“Love and Compassion is My Religion: A Beginner's Book into Spirituality by Jane Zarse is a great book to read. The only thing is that this book is not only for beginners but for those who are into religion for a long time. A lot of times we may lose sight of who we truly are and this book will help to reaffirm one's faith. Her story is one I can relate to in some ways which makes it even more compelling. Learning to love yourself is the best thing you can ever do. You owe it to yourself to have a read.”
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 04:37 AM Write a comment Permalink

(104) Las Vegas has loved Elvis Presley true, but less so lately

LAS VEGAS (AP) — For decades, Las Vegas has loved Elvis Presley tender — and loved him true — but the King's presence in modern day Sin City has lately been diminishing, one impersonator at a time.

"Vegas really is, ironically, a challenging market for Elvis," said Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, which runs the Graceland attraction in Memphis, Tennessee, and manages many of the official business deals on behalf of the estate.

The group had loaned hundreds of artifacts to a much-hyped, months-old Elvis attraction at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. "Graceland Presents Elvis" closed in February after failing to draw in many visitors to the museum exhibit, wedding chapel and theater.

The off-Strip property is now holding the valuables against the will of the estate, as Westgate battles with the attraction's third-party operator over a leasing dispute. The estate has since filed a lawsuit to get those items back.

The fallout at Westgate is not the first Elvis-related spectacle in Las Vegas to leave the building too soon. Low attendance numbers were also to blame when the Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil show at the Aria casino-hotel was cancelled in 2012 after a two-year run. That's a much shorter shelf life than most of its sister shows. The longest-running one, Myste're, started on the Strip more than two decades ago.

It's left the Strip's largest casino operator, MGM Resorts International, without any Elvis-themed shows, attractions or weddings. Rival Caesars Entertainment Corporation still hosts tribute acts and weddings, but a spokeswoman said few of those getting hitched ever choose the official Elvis packages.

It's a stark turn for a city that has for so long thrived in its association with "The King." The rise of Elvis coincided with the rise of Las Vegas as an entertainment capital, said Cory Cooper, an Elvis historian.

Elvis played here more than anywhere else, selling out hundreds of shows, year after year. Cementing his ties to Sin City were his hits, the "Viva Las Vegas" song that gave the town its anthem, and the movie by the same name that showcased its glitzy persona.

There was a time when Elvis fans across the country made the pilgrimage to Las Vegas to see his concerts, and following his death in 1977, to indulge in the many tribute shows, impersonators and nostalgic memories from his heyday.

It also became a staple of Las Vegas kitsch to see Elvis impersonators — though they prefer to be known as "tribute artists" — on the many tourist-friendly corners of town and at the quickie wedding ceremonies Vegas was known for.

"I think the problem with Vegas is Las Vegas is trying to escape from itself, either rewrite history or make new history," Cooper, the historian, said. "All these properties that started Las Vegas, nothing's there anymore."
Saturday, 12 March 2016 12:04 AM Write a comment Permalink

(103) Google searches for ‘how to move to Canada’ skyrocket because of Trump and Cruz.

The rush to flee Donald Trump’s America is already starting — at least, according to Google.

Searches for “how to move to Canada” skyrocketed as Donald Trump dominated Super Tuesday — an early sign that Americans are ready to move the hell out if Trump moves into the White House.

Google's data show the search term rose steadily from 8 p.m. to midnight, the same time Trump racked up victories in seven states. The term’s popularity jumped more than 350% in those four hours, according to Google data editor Simon Rogers, and 1,150% through the entire day.

Massachusetts and Virginia showed the strongest surges in searches — which is hardly surprising, since Trump took both states.

According to Google, searches for the Canada question haven’t been this popular since November 2004, when George W. Bush won his second presidential term.

Canada’s official immigration website is apparently seeing a surge, too.

The Canadian government’s immigration and citizenship page suddenly added an error message after midnight: “You may experience delays while using the website. We are working to resolve this issue. Thank you for your patience.”

The Canadian government's immigration website had an error message warning of "delays" through Wednesday.

Canada wasn't getting all of the Trump haters' love, though: "how to move to england" and "how to move to mexico" were often searched by the same people.
Thursday, 10 March 2016 08:57 PM Write a comment Permalink

(102) McDonald’s ad featuring gay son coming out sparks controversy in Taiwan

Religious groups in Taiwan are calling for a boycott of McDonald’s after the fast food giant premiered a commercial they say promotes “gay issues.”

The minute-and-a-half ad features a boy coming out to his father by writing, “I like boys” on a McCafe coffee cup and sliding it across the table.

The father initially seems upset, and walks away. But he quickly returns with his own coffee cup and writes, “I accept that you like boys.” Music swells and the son cries tears of joy. The spot closes with the tag, "Let there be more warmth in conversations."

On YouTube the ad has over 6,900 likes and has been viewed 1.6 million times. According to the Shanghaiist, the spot has received “mostly positive” feedback from local viewers.

But the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family is condemning the ad, saying it promotes homosexual behavior.

"Because McDonald’s is frequented by many children, it is especially important to oppose the promotion of same-sex behavior," Chang Shou-yi of the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family, told Taiwanese media. Chang accused McDonald's of "openly promoting gay issues" and mis-educating children on sexual behavior.

The group is calling for a nationwide boycott of the restaurant.

When the spot debuted on March 6, Brenda Kou, who heads McDonald’s marketing department in Taiwan, told Apple Daily that the brand’s intent was to show the spirit of open dialogue between family members. She also said that McDonald’s wanted to express that different voices can be accepted in society.

Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Taiwan, although seven cities currently accept household registrations of same-sex couples.

According to Shanghaiist, a poll conducted by Taiwan's Ministry of Justice found that nearly 60 percent of respondents approved of same-sex marriage. The country’s president-elect Tsai Ing-wen expressed her support for the LGBT community in a campaign video saying, "In the face of love, everyone is equal. Let everyone have the freedom to love and to pursue their happiness."

But various Christian organizations have been leading a vocal campaign to fight the legalization of same-sex unions.

McDonald’s has used a similar concept in other countries and in 2010, the fast food chain featured a similar spot in France but the son does not directly come out to his father.
Thursday, 10 March 2016 01:14 AM Write a comment Permalink

(101) Bisexual Man Is Convicted of Hate Crime for Killing Gay Man

A bisexual man charged with shooting a gay man he taunted on a street was found guilty Wednesday of murder as a hate crime despite his assertions that he couldn't be a bigot because of his own sexual orientation.

A Manhattan jury deliberated over two days before finding Elliot Morales guilty in the May 2013 shooting of Mark Carson in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, a center of American gay life for decades.

"Motivated by irrational rage, the defendant targeted and executed a defenseless young man based on his sexual orientation after taunting and insulting the victim and his companion," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement.

Morales, 36, represented himself. A message left at his legal adviser's office after the verdict wasn't immediately returned.

Morales faces 20 years to life in prison. His sentencing is set for April 11.

Morales admitted shooting Carson but said he acted in self-defense and couldn't be guilty of a hate crime because he is bisexual. His star witness was a transgender woman who testified that she was his ex-lover.

In Morales' closing argument last week, he wept and told jurors that he was "not a bigot of any type" and that charging him with a hate crime was "ridiculous."

The shooting happened a few blocks from the Stonewall Inn, the site of 1969 riots that helped give rise to the gay rights movement.

Police said Carson and his roommate were passing in front of a pizza parlor shortly after midnight on May 18, 2013, when Morales called out to them, using slurs and saying the men looked like "gay wrestlers." The two confronted Morales, following him around a corner, before he pulled a revolver and shot Carson in the face at close range, authorities said.

Arrested moments later, Morales began laughing and admitted killing Carson as officers held him down.

"Diagnosis dead, doctor," he is heard shouting on an officer's video. It then shows Carson sticking out his tongue.

As he cross-examined Carson's former roommate at trial, Morales blamed the two men for the conflict that led to the shooting and suggested they should have ignored the taunts and walked away.

Taking the stand in his own defense, Morales said he had been drinking heavily before the shooting. He acknowledged arguing with Carson and his roommate but denied using gay slurs. He said he pulled his gun because he was afraid.

"I thought he was going to take something out and shoot me with it," Morales testified. "I thought one or maybe both of them had a firearm. So I kind of raised the firearm and turned away and shot it at the same time."

Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey said in her closing argument that Morales had issues with his own sexuality and was jealous that Carson and his roommate were openly gay.
Wednesday, 9 March 2016 02:20 AM Write a comment Permalink

(100) Foreign politicians are responding to Donald Trump's unvarnished world views with equally undiplomatic candor.

Some of his many detractors have compared him to Adolf Hitler, while a small group admires his blunt views and forceful personality.

Among the foreign politicians who have spoken out about the Republican presidential front-runner, only Russian President Vladimir Putin and far right-wing politicians who share Trump's anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views have praised him.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto delivered one of the harshest rebukes Monday, telling the Excelsior newspaper that Trump's "strident tone" is reminiscent of dictators Benito Mussolini and Hitler, populists who rode a tide of economic discontent to absolute power.

"There have been episodes in the history of humanity, unfortunately, where these expressions, this strident rhetoric has only really been (a) very fateful stage in the history of mankind," he said.

Peña and other Mexican politicians are furious over Trump's vow to build a wall to keep Mexican migrants out of the United States — and make Mexico pay for it.

"I'm not going to pay for that (expletive) wall," former Mexican president Vicente Fox told Fusion's Jorge Ramos last month.

Clearly, the possibility of a Trump presidency has provoked "a feeling of desperation" in Mexico, said Bill Richardson, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

It's not just Mexico worried about the prospect of a Trump presidency, said Richardson, former governor of New Mexico and former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Trump's promise to “Make America Great Again” represents an isolationist policy that reflects the frustration of many American voters, but it is a viewpoint that worries world leaders, Richardson told USA TODAY.

“The world laments that because, despite our faults, the world wants us to lead," Richardson said.

In Europe, which is coping with a migrant crisis, German Vice Chancellor Sigma Gabriel said that Trump and "all these right-wing populists are not only a threat to peace and social cohesion, but also to economic development." Gabriel lashed out in an interview with German publication Welt am Sonntag on Sunday.

In December, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Trump's remarks calling for a temporary ban on Muslims to the U.S. are "divisive, stupid and wrong." Some members of the British Parliament want to bar Trump from visiting their country.

In the Middle East, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud said Trump should withdraw from the U.S. race.
Tuesday, 8 March 2016 11:09 PM Write a comment Permalink

(99) The Palm Springs Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a Palm Springs California based 501(c)3 organization, is pleased to announce a great upcoming fundraising event!


On Easter Sunday (March 27, 2016) The Palm Springs Sisters will be selling Easter Eggs at our 5th Annual Eggstravaganza.

Inside your egg, you may find candy or prizes! All of the funds raised stay locally to support other organizations in the Palm Springs area.

Past recipients of grants from the Palm Springs Sisters have included Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, the White Rock Ranch Horse Rescue, the Riverside County Sheriff Department, local Gay-Straight Alliances and clubs at area schools, local food banks and the local LGBT center!

Please see our website or our facebook page for more information on this fantastic event, and many others, as well.

Please contact us for more information.
Tuesday, 8 March 2016 10:08 PM Write a comment Permalink

(98) China likes to ban things. This is not news.

But the most recent thing China banned is making waves nonetheless: depictions of gay people on television.

Nope. Not going to happen.

And the government can either continue pulling such shows from the airwaves, as it has been doing, or it can come right out and draw a line in the sand saying people can't put the shows on the air in the first place.

That second option just sounds cleaner, doesn't it?

The government issued a new set of regulations in December, though they weren't widely circulated until recently.

The regulations state that “No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviors, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.”

The new rules appeared a week after a controversial show called Addicted Heroin, about gay teenagers, was pulled from video streaming sites in China. The show can now only be viewed on YouTube, which is blocked in China. Several other shows featuring gay characters have also been pulled in recent months.

The new rules also frown upon a range of other content ranging from cleavage to witchcraft and including — no surprise — historical depictions “harmful to the unity and sovereignty of the country and its territorial integrity,” according to Buzzfeed.

The move is part of a wider morality campaign aimed at cracking down on "vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content."

There's no use broadcasting content that "exaggerates the dark side of society" when the Chinese government is doing a fine job of that on its own.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost. Its content was created separately to USA TODAY.
Tuesday, 8 March 2016 02:07 PM Write a comment Permalink

(97) Born in New York and raised in Miami Beach, Raphael grew up listening to ‘90s pop, Miami hip-hop, and Max Martin. He describes his style of songwriting as a stream of consciousness and views his songs as a representation of himself as a person and an artist.

His upcoming album, “The Dark of My Mind”, is a journey through modern love set to moody trip-hop and electro-pop sounds. Song are, at times, ethereal and dreamy. At other times, they flow over the listener with a wave of sexual urgency and romantic longing. “The songs are about those things that you tuck in the back of your head and you don’t necessarily want to talk about or want people to see,” Raphael explains.

“Boys Are Trouble” is the second pre-release from the album. Written by Raphael, the song − with its moody piano, beautifully sad strings, and raw vocals that exude vulnerability − is being compared to ballads by Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd. It is now streaming on Spotify, along with its brand new club remix by superstar DJ Joe Gauthreaux. The music video is available on YouTube.
Sunday, 6 March 2016 12:41 AM Write a comment Permalink

(96) Does Ted Cruz Stand A Chance?


To the voters who feel they can breathe a sigh of relief because Cruz did good today; think again.

Ted Cruz is just as radical (if not more) then the Donald. He represents the extreme right-wing Christians who don't believe in other religions, who don't represent the middle-class, low-income, black and minority ethnic groups.

He stands for corporate greed, radical NRA values and giant defense contractors have him in their back pockets. This man is radical and has plans.
Thursday, 3 March 2016 08:44 PM Write a comment Permalink

(95) Gay Iranian Poet Who Has Taken Refuge in an Unlikely Place: Israel

Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran. But when the gay Iranian poet Payam Feili came under pressure, he fled to a surprising place

Payam Feili, a 30-year-old gay Iranian poet, never thought he would find himself living under the jurisdiction of ‘the little Satan’, as the Islamic Republic’s founding Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomenei liked to refer to Israel. But sitting outside a bohemian cafe near the fashionable Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, Feili looks perfectly at ease. As he balances a cigarette between his long fingers, nails painted a deep blue to match a ring beset with a large turquoise stone on his hand, he explains that he is applying for asylum to stay because, exiled from Iran, he sees Israel as an “interesting, beautiful and amazing” place where he wants to continue his life. “For me, it’s not just another country,” he says, speaking softly in Farsi. “For me it’s like a fairytale place.”

Until two years ago, it was only Payam’s books, not the author, which travelled to forbidden places. Due to the censorship imposed by Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, only one of Payam’s works was approved for publication in his home country—the other eight have all had to be published abroad. Payam himself had never left Iran. “Actually, I didn’t live in Iran. I lived my life inside my room. That’s where life would happen,” he says, as he describes an apartment where he lived with his mother, and the room where he would host his friends, fellow writers and lovers.

As it is in much of the Middle East—though not in Israel—homosexuality is illegal in Iran, and consensual sex between two adult males can be punishable by death. But Payam says he refused to censor himself. “I am twenty one. I am a homosexual. I like the afternoon sun,” he writes in the opening lines of his novella I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit…Figs.

Payam has also long been interested in Israel, the “forbidden fruit” of a country—a trait that earned him additional suspicion at home. “There’s something very important about the Jewish people’s history. The Holocaust is why this country exists.” He was not scared of expressing such views even in interviews in Iran. “I used to say that if I could leave Iran I hoped to go to Israel,” he tells me, smiling. “I was stupid, really stupid! But don’t get me wrong—I love my stupidity! I would do it again. I have no regrets.”
Thursday, 3 March 2016 10:11 AM Write a comment Permalink

(94) Stopping Donald Trump now is "a long shot"

Donald Trump took home the most wins on Super Tuesday, making it even harder for those in the Republican party looking to stop him from taking the party nomination.

John Dickerson, anchor of "Face the Nation" and CBS News political director, spoke with Scott Pelley about if it is even possible to stop him now.

There's a lot of talk about stopping Donald Trump, but how practical is that?

It's a long shot. There is definitely motivation. I asked someone involved in the anti-Trump effort to rank the Republican panic on a scale of one to ten, and he said 11. But harnessing that panic requires politicians and party regulars to organize themselves quickly, and there's no leader in this effort. It requires them to take a big risk. Normally they don't like to be on the wrong side of public opinion. And there's no guarantee [it will work] -- attacks from establishment could very well make Trump stronger.

What is one of the most plausible approaches to stopping Trump?

The shortest long shot would be to deny Trump the delegates needed for the nomination. By launching a withering set of ads immediately in delegate-rich states like Ohio and Florida, which vote on March 15, the hope would be to tear Trump down and give some other candidate a chance to win. Then there would be no clear winner, and the delegates could be persuaded to pick someone other than Trump in the possibly more controlled environment of the convention.

Looking at the Democrats, does Bernie Sanders have a shot against Hillary Clinton?

It's a very, very distant shot. He's winning states, but shes winning more than he is. She has a delegate lead, and unless something changes in the dynamic, she's on her way to the nomination.
Thursday, 3 March 2016 09:54 AM Write a comment Permalink

(93) deadmau5 Tells Kanye West to Save His 'Money for a 4th Grade Education'

After a short break, deadmau5 returned to Twitter on Wednesday (Feb. 2) to continue his beef with Kanye West.

After signing off earlier in the day, the DJ and producer signed back on and started things up again, replying to one of West's tweets, "Imma let you finish.... But you should probably be saving the money for a 4th grade education."

Later he claimed he could "out idiot an idiot," adding, "It's what I do."
Friday, 21 August 2015 08:23 PM Write a comment Permalink

(92) Just plain ignorant!
Friday, 21 August 2015 08:16 PM Write a comment Permalink

(91) tru dat
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 07:31 AM Write a comment Permalink

(90) This is just a bit too . . . FUNNY!!
Saturday, 1 August 2015 08:13 AM Write a comment Permalink

(89) This is probably the BIGGEST "Oh Honey No!"
Saturday, 1 August 2015 08:10 AM Write a comment Permalink

(88) Yeah, OK; he's got my vote! NOT!
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 07:09 PM Write a comment Permalink

(87) Nerd Alert
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